The Clipperton Project ‘Plastic Aware’ Challenge

 

The Clipperton Project ‘Plastic Aware’ Challenge

The island of Cozumel lies a short distance off the coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico: a prime tourism spot with magnificent Caribbean coral reefs and crystal clear waters. Unfortunately, Cozumel’s storied reefs and beaches are compromised by the growing amount of the plastic pollution accumulating on this tiny island and ending up in the ocean.

The problem of plastic pollution is not limited to Cozumel, and has far greater  consequences than simply dirtying our beaches; many marine organisms are negatively affected by plastic debris and  particles. Marine animals eat or become entrapped in our plastic waste, and often starve to death, for example, a sperm whale recently died after mistaking plastic bags for squid.

On a daily basis, almost every person makes choices—to use plastic bags while shopping, to purchase food and household goods wrapped in plastic packaging--that have a huge impact on places near and far.  Garbage dumping, landfills, wind, and currents carry our waste to distant places.  We can all help to halt the increase of plastic pollution—indeed, it is our responsibility to do so.

The Clipperton Project (TCP) has been invited to participate in the 2012 SCUBAFEST on Cozumel Island, Mexico, to address the  urgent issue of plastic pollution. TCP and invited ‘expeditionaries’/participants – like you - will conduct a varied programme of activities to energise the local community and tourism industry to address this issue in this important, and beautiful, location. This is a unique opportunity for you to contribute to necessary research into the impact of plastic pollution on Cozumel, inform and inspire local residents, and participate in the international diving festival, SCUBAFEST.

The Clipperton Project is seeking international scientists participate in three distinct, but related, challenges:

·      To take part in a unique challenge–directly participating in a 3-week programme aiming to engage the local community of Cozumel Island, Mexico around the issue of plastic pollution

·      Or to share your knowledge and/or ideas of how to combat plastic pollution in any location.

·      Or to give your ideas for how to repurpose or recycle plastic waste

Your knowledge could help make Cozumel (and other places) free from plastic pollution, enabling it to remain an ecological haven and natural wonder.

This SCUBAFEST programme takes place from Nov-Dec 2012. Participating artists and scientists will be provided with free accommodation, diving equipment and studio space to realise their collaborative research. Participants are only required to cover their transport to and from Cozumel and their personal expenses (including food). Rise to the CHALLENGE here!

As a united, global community we can achieve so much more, and this is why we encourage progressive and innovative participating artists, scientists, business professionals and members of the public to challenge themselves to think outside of the box, and contribute to our campaign and community engagement efforts.

We’ll be sharing stories from the programme on this blog, so that everyone can follow the progress of the participants and local community in facing this challenge.

* * *

The Clipperton Project is an international initiative that uses the notions of journeying, exploration, discovery and multi-disciplinary endeavour to empower people and communities in various countries to become active in their own space and lives. For more information, please visit our website: www.theclippertonproject.com

Image: Animals that get entangled in or eat plastic debris in the ocean suffer greatly and many perish due to injury or starvation. Courtesy of Ewan Edwards.